#1  
Old 04-25-2022, 05:22 AM
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Default Spring Pocket Bolts - 74 Firebird

So I'm wanting to R&R my leaf springs to fit new bushings and isolator pads. Everything has come off cleanly except for the 3 x spring pocket bolts on the drivers side. Every one of them is turning, but not undoing. I suspect the captured clips have broken loose and I don't see where I can get to the backside of them.

Any easy way to handle this, or am I faced with grinding the heads off the bolts? The one closest to the rear of the spring pocket is going to be a PITA to get at.

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1974 Trans Am, 400 4-speed, 3.42 rear.

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Old 04-25-2022, 06:26 AM
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The bolts do use captured clips. It's been a few years, but I had to grind the head off at least one of the bolts. Maybe someone can chime in here, but there might be an access point in the subframe through which you can wedge something into the back of the clip, but that isn't always feasible. I'd buy some new bolts and clips before I did anything drastic; I believe mine came from Summit Racing.

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  #3  
Old 05-12-2022, 03:55 PM
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Quick update - I finally got ONE side done;



All three of the spring pocket bolts spun - the captured 'nut' simply broke away from the clip. I had to grind the heads off the two most forward bolts but I could not reach the rearmost one. Fortunately I was able to tilt the socket enough that the nut stayed in position and I was then able to wind it out.

I needed to do some cleanup under the spring pocket as there was a lot of surface rust. I ended up ordering new hardware from our sponsor - spring pocket bolts, front eye bolts etc. The biggest time factor in the project was waiting for those parts to arrive from the US. The new spring pocket bolts and clips are a much better design.

Everything went pretty smoothly once I got the spring pocket out. The only other problem I had was getting the top shackle bolt back through the new frame bushings - there's not much room up there and that bolt is not a loose fit - even after sanding it smooth and lubing it.

Passenger's side next. I'm hoping I don't have the same problem with the spring pocket bolts but I'm guessing I will.

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1974 Trans Am, 400 4-speed, 3.42 rear.

  #4  
Old 05-18-2022, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pontiacstogo View Post
Passenger's side next. I'm hoping I don't have the same problem with the spring pocket bolts but I'm guessing I will.
Ha ha - not a chance. All 3 x bolts broke loose on the passengers side. I can get to the heads of the bolts at the front of the spring pocket, but there's no way I can get my angle grinder on the one that's at the rear. It's way up between the spring and the sill.

I've booked it in next week to have a local shop do it - they can deal with it.

For anyone else that ever runs into this, this is what the captured nuts look like and what they do when you try and unbolt them. Silliest design ever.

The RH bolt and clip in the picture is the new style that our sponsor supplies - much better design;


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1974 Trans Am, 400 4-speed, 3.42 rear.

  #5  
Old 05-18-2022, 09:37 PM
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Yup been there. I had two that spun, but I was able to chisel the bolt heads off.

The bigger issue on my car was that the entire leaf pack on both the driver and passenger side was cracked in half. The leafs literally fell apart when I released the clamping load from the u bolts!!

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Old Yesterday, 12:22 PM
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Anti-seize is your friend!

.

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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
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1971 Trans Am 461, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
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Old Yesterday, 02:00 PM
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Anti-seize is your friend!
It might have been my friend if someone had used it on the assembly line 48 years ago

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1974 Trans Am, 400 4-speed, 3.42 rear.

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Old Yesterday, 02:03 PM
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Yeah, but you just went thru the painful part, might as well never have to deal with that again!

I just got a couple anti-seize sticks, hope that will help not getting it EVERYWHERE whenever I pull that large bottle with a brush out!

.

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1970 GTO Judge Tribute Pro-Tour Project 535 IA2
http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=760624
1971 Trans Am 461, 315cfm E-head Sniper XFlow EFI, TKO600 extreme, 9", GW suspension, Baer brakes, pro tour car
1972 442 W-30 Tribute (495 stroker, Bernard SpeedMaster aluminum heads)
442 Build Thread:
http://classicoldsmobile.com/forums/...e-project.html
Theme Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zKAS...ature=youtu.be
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